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Putting AI in its Place – Artificial Intelligence Should Be Part of the Recruiting Process, But it Can’t Replace the Human Touch

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As big data and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to transform the recruiting industry, a new survey by Korn Ferry shows that professionals have less trust in AI than in human recruiters.

While nearly three quarters of those surveyed (72 percent) said AI should be used during the recruitment process, more than two-thirds (68 percent) said it wouldn’t be fair if AI alone chose who should be interviewed without the input of a human recruiter.

In addition, nearly half (41 percent) said they feel uncomfortable dealing with AI instead of a human recruiter as part of the process, and 76 percent said they trust AI less than a person to guide the job search process.

“AI, when coupled with machine learning, is an incredibly strong tool in the journey to source and select the most qualified candidates, but it’s just that, a ‘tool,’” said Matt Heckler, general manager, Global Client Platform Solutions, Korn Ferry. “The best recruiters use big data and AI to free time by automating tasks such as sourcing. This gives the recruiter more time to focus on what matters: creating and filling roles that help organisations fulfill their strategic agenda.”

The top benefit of working with a recruiter, according to the survey, is the ability to build strong relationships. While 90 percent of respondents said technology cannot replace the human interaction required to recruit effectively, respondents did cite benefits of using AI in the recruiting process. When asked what they value most from AI being used in recruiting, 30 percent said it makes the process go faster; and a quarter believe it helps take bias out of the equation.

“As AI continues to become part of our everyday lives, we can expect to see an increase in the adoption and integration of this emerging technology to help talent acquisition professionals be even more efficient and effective,” continued Heckler. “From freeing up time for strategic thought and relationship building to helping talent acquisition professionals better understand their markets, the intelligent use of technology provides an exciting path for the recruiter of the future.”

About the survey

The survey of 431 professionals across a wide range of industries took place in late May 2018. (note: due to rounding figures may not equal 100 percent).

Do you think Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be used during the recruitment process?

Yes – 72 percent

No – 28 percent

When you do know it’s an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter vs. a human recruiter in the recruitment process, how comfortable do you feel in dealing with it?

Very comfortable – 15 percent

Somewhat comfortable – 44 percent

Somewhat uncomfortable – 28 percent

Very uncomfortable – 13 percent

In the initial stages of the recruitment process (e.g. discussing your interest in a potential role) can you tell when you’re not dealing with a human in recruitment situations?
Yes, it is always obvious with chatbots – 25 percent

Yes, I think so – 58 percent

No, I don’t think so – 16 percent

No, definitely not – 1 percent

Would you think it fair for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter to judge your resume instead of a human, determining whether you are interviewed or not?

Yes, it would be fair – 32 percent

No, it would not be fair – 68 percent

Would you trust an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter more or less than a human recruiter when it comes to finding you a job?

I would trust an AI recruiter a lot more than a human recruiter – 4 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter somewhat more than a human recruiter – 20 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter somewhat less than a human recruiter – 48 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter a lot less than a human recruiter – 28 percent

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “Technology cannot replace the human interaction required to recruit effectively.”
Strongly agree – 43 percent

Agree – 47 percent

Disagree – 8 percent

Strongly disagree – 2 percent

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “Recruitment needs major change through the adoption of new technology.”

Strongly agree – 21 percent

Agree – 58 percent

Disagree – 19 percent

Strongly disagree – 2 percent

Is there a point in the recruitment process where you would prefer to stop dealing with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter and start dealing with a human?                                             

I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter throughout the entire process – 23 percent

After initial contact, I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter – 52 percent

From an interview onwards, I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter – 23 percent

When negotiating my package, I would prefer to deal with a human – 3 percent

Do you think Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems in recruitment work?                        

Yes, automated recruitment works all the time – 2 percent

Yes, automated recruitment works most of the time – 35 percent

No, I don’t think automated recruitment works most of the time – 52 percent

No, I don’t think automated recruitment works all of the time – 11 percent

What would you value most from dealing with human recruiters                     

I can build a personal relationship with them – 28 percent

I feel I can trust a human – 11 percent

I believe they care about the job they’re doing – 17 percent

They are more subjective when selecting candidates – 22 percent

They really know what I want from a role – 21 percent

What would you value most from dealing with Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiters

I believe they’re unbiased and more fair – 25 percent

I believe they are more efficient than human recruiters – 22 percent

A better candidate experience – 7 percent

A faster recruitment process – 30 percent

I believe they are more accurate in finding job opps that work for me – 17 percent

 

Have you seen the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can have on the speed of recruitment process yet?

Yes – 26 percent

No – 74 percent

Have you seen the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can have on the quality of recruitment process yet?

Yes – 17 percent

No – 83 percent

Are you concerned about the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has on the recruitment process and the way you interact with recruiters?

Yes – 66 percent

No – 34 percent

Does the use of  Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the recruitment process impact the reputation of an employer?

Yes, it has a positive impact – 23 percent

Yes, it has a negative impact – 35 percent

No, it has no impact – 42 percent